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Comment: Also, grammar.... (Score 2, Informative) 637 637

by duckintheface (#49886631) Attached to: Why Our Brains Can't Process the Gravest Threats To Humanity

Apparently the human mind is also lacking in the grammar department. " bequeathed unto we humans" contains a prepositional phrase, the object of which should be in the ... wait for it.... objective case. Thus the correct version is "bequeathed unto us humans". Get the simple stuff right and the more complex will follow.

Comment: "stealing just like stealing anything else" (Score 5, Informative) 408 408

And this is the problem with industry thinking. It is NOT stealing. Copyrights, patents, and trademarks are separate types of law. They are NOT property law. If they were, we would not need a separate part of the Constitution (Art. 1, Sec 8) to define what they mean.

Violating copyright is NOT stealing because the copyright is NOT property. The term "intellectual property" is an intentional obfuscation designed to blur the difference between universal ideas of property ownership and the proposition that ideas can be owned. Ideas can NOT be owned. Copyrights are just temporary monopolies for the purpose of encouraging the arts and sciences. They do NOT exist because "Hey, that's mine". They do not exist for the benefit of the copyright holder. They exist for the benefit of society as a whole. Don't believe me? Read Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution.

Comment: NO, it is not enough! (Score 5, Insightful) 96 96

by duckintheface (#49759757) Attached to: Death In the Browser Tab

"Hearing 'White cop kills yet another unarmed black man' is enough."

Absolutely not. Cops have been killing unarmed black men for a long, long time. It is only now, when video is frequently available and the media has decided to pursue the matter, that we see a national awakening to the problem. It is hard for most Americans to imagine what it's like to be a young black man living under the control of a brutal police force. We all want to believe that the police are there to protect and serve. It is only when we can see the evil with our own eyes that it becomes real and becomes intolerable.

Comment: I have a Motorola W385 flip phone (Score 2) 313 313

by duckintheface (#49754513) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Dumb Phone?

It's 8 years old. I don't know if you can still buy them. It has had one battery change about 3 years ago and works great. It's a CDMA phone on the Verizon network. I pay $5.94 (including tax and fees) per month for 20 minutes of talk time. I have disabled voice mail and text messaging on the phone. So the phone rings and I talk, but not for long. In an emergency I can make calls... short calls. That's all I need in a mobile phone.

I should mention that I have a google voice number that rings my cell phone and my computer (Google Talk/ Hangouts). With a Plantronics headset, that computer-phone is the best sound quality I've ever had on a phone call. And it's free assuming you already have a wifi connection. Google records voice mail and allows free texting. So I have all the features of a quality smart phone for a very low cost.

Comment: Re:It's about money. (Score 1) 289 289

by duckintheface (#49720685) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

Cooper tried to split the difference by being against Amendment 1 banning gay marriage and being against gay marriage at the same time. The Attorney General is charged with upholding the law. The highest law is the US Constitution and the NC Constitution makes that clear. After the Windsor decision, there was no excuse for any state official to defer to state law because it was clear that the US Constitution (equal protection and due process clauses) confer equal rights on everyone. And state law did not prevent the Attorneys General from Colorado and other similarly situated states from moving ahead on gay marriage.

Comment: It's about money. (Score 5, Interesting) 289 289

by duckintheface (#49719811) Attached to: North Carolina Still Wants To Block Municipal Broadband

I'm a Democrat living in North Carolina. Roy Cooper is the Democratic Attorney General who plans to run for Governor in two years. He is interested in campaign contributions from the telecom industry. That's why he opposes municipal broadband even when private companies have no intention of offering it to an area. He thinks regular voters are not paying attention so there is only upside for him in this. This is the same Att. Gen. Cooper who opposed gay marriage in NC until the courts forced it to happen. He is not impressing me. Hope he has some competition in the 2017 Democratic Primary for Governor.

Comment: The important statistic is.... (Score 2) 211 211

by duckintheface (#49689413) Attached to: FCC May Stop 911 Access For NSI Phones

what percentage of valid mobile 911 calls are made from NIS phones? Strangely, that number does not appear in the federal report. Saying that 30% of NIS calls are valid focuses on the problem. But if 1% (or more) of valid mobile 911 calls come from NIS phones, that is a valuable service that definitely should not be terminated without a plan for cost-free replacement.

Also, the blather about how inexpensive mobile phones are is seriously flawed. I recently dropped my full featured Verizon plan and changed instead to a minimal pre-paid plan. What I discovered is that Verizon plays lots of dirty tricks to cheat poor people of their money. For example, they tell you that you must pay monthly, but what they mean is every 30 days. If you set up auto-pay via credit card based on their web site, you will be ok until there is a month with 31 days. Then they cancel your service and seize the balance in your account, which could be hundreds of dollars. Even if you owe only $5, they take all the money in your account.

Comment: Don't break user space! (Score 5, Interesting) 469 469

by duckintheface (#49633021) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

If you read the Linux Kernel Mailing List http://lkml.org/ for a while, you will see why Linux was successful. Over and over again, Linus Torvalds over-rides the antics of his minions and explains to them (again) that the changes they made must be backed out because they break something that users actually need. Linux is elegant and beautiful, but not just because it's a work of art. Linux is the most functional piece of code in existence. It is the beauty of function.

Comment: Motivation and punishment (Score 5, Insightful) 94 94

by duckintheface (#49542061) Attached to: Gen. Petraeus To Be Sentenced To Two Years Probation and Fine

Snowden disclosed illegal activity on the part of his employer and the US government. He should be protected by the whistle-blower law. Petraeus gave classified material to his biographer (and lover). In addition to displaying his machismo to his female, he was also trying to provide background info for the book about him. Petraeus was motivated by self-serving benefit. Snowden was doing a service to his country. In a just world, Petraeus should be the one hiding in Russia to avoid life imprisonment or a death sentence.

Comment: Budget running dry? (Score 3, Insightful) 99 99

We use terms like "budget running dry" or "the school districts simply can't afford them" to mask the fact that we have prioritized tax cuts over education. The US is a rich country but the money is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands by the process of rolling back progressive taxes (income and property). This is a conscious choice to ignore educational needs in the coming generations.

The availability of adequate budgets is a separate issue from the advisability of spending money on 3D printers. Spend the money on basic education first and if you still want to experiment with high tech, then fine.

Comment: Is negotiation a skill required for the job? (Score 4, Insightful) 892 892

If the ability to negotiate aggressively is not a talent required for the job, there is no reason why someone who negotiates well should get a higher salary. The same skills that make for aggressive negotiation (affinity for conflict situations for example) may make a prospective employee perform less well in team situations.

An interview should give the employer a chance to describe the job and the prospective employee a chance to describe their relevant talents. Each side should then know the market value of the applicants skills with respect to the job. If the company's offer does not match the applicants pay requirement, them should part ways. What does a negotiation accomplish?

Comment: It's that damn cancer! (Score 5, Insightful) 303 303

Steve Ballmer warned us that Linux was a cancer. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2...

Now the mothership itself in infected. Open source??? OMG. But really, if real programmers ever got their hands on Windows under a GPL, they would just strip out anything of value and add it to Linux. Really.

"Ninety percent of baseball is half mental." -- Yogi Berra

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